VU Faculty of Medicine Remains Attractive to Israeli Youth

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Delegation of Vilnius University (VU) started the year of 2020 with a visit to Tel Aviv, Israel. Members of the group participated in the International Study Fair, met with executives of partner company MD International and conducted motivational interviews with prospective students. The VU Faculty of Medicine (MF) participated in this event for the eighth time.

The annual Medical Studies Fair, hosted by “MD International”, was held in Tel Aviv and welcomed European universities that partner with this Company to participate and present their programs. This year the Faculty was represented by the Vice-Dean of Studies prof. Dr Vaiva Hendrixson, Head of Study Department Jekaterina Bortkevič, Head of Communication Department Lina Kocienė, International Studies Coordinators Justė Andrikonytė and Miglė Trinkunaitė and Artūras Šaltis, Head of Student Admission Unit at VU.

Universities from the Czech Republic (Charles University, Palacky University), Croatia (University of Zagreb), Italy (Humanitas University), as well as Lithuanian University of Health Sciences presented their study programs. Miglė Trinkunaitė, who introduced the most important facts about Lithuania, Vilnius, the University, studies and life in the Faculty, presented VU MF.

"Speaking in front of hundreds of people is a challenge, but when you see the interest in the eyes of those attending, you feel proud of the University you represent and you realize how meaningful your work is," M. Trinkunaitė shared her thoughts after the presentation.

According to Vice-Dean of Studies, Prof Dr Vaiva Hendrixson students from Israel stand out from the rest with their motivation and preparation. They begin their studies after compulsory military service, therefore they are older, more mature, more experienced and more aware of their goals.

“Students from Israel make up about 10% of students in the Faculty of Medicine, and we would like to maintain and increase that level. We strive to show exceptional attention to our partners, representatives of Medical Doctors International Academy, and to continue close cooperation,” she said.

Most of the Universities participating in the Fair have decades of experience organizing international studies, boasting traditions and significant prior work in the field, proud to have plentiful international alumni societies and being able to welcome hundreds of new students each year. After the official introduction, the MF booth was surrounded by future students and their parents. It was unexpected to meet several Lithuanians who now live in Israel.

“We can only be pleased that among such strong participants VU Medical Faculty remains competitive and attractive to Israeli youth. Of course, we are getting stronger too – we have already had two courses of foreign students’ graduate, so we have the first alumni who are very active in spreading positive news about Vilnius University. Information they get from students is always more valued,” Lina Kocienė considered.

Such visits, according to the Head of Communication, are a great opportunity to evaluate what we look like in a general context compared to other universities: "Then you see where you still need to catch up and work, and where we really shine."

Jekaterina Bortkevič, Head of the Study Department, stated one of the main goals in the Study Fair: “We didn't try “to hook” as many students as possible while attending the Fair. Our goal is to select those who really want to study at Vilnius University, have already heard about or maybe even visited Lithuania. Motivation is one of the most important criteria. The most unpleasant thing is when a newly admitted student quits studying after a few weeks or month, and then you realize that you could have picked another, more motivated candidate instead. We work hard to minimize such situations.”

According to Artūras Šaltis, there was a lot of interest in the Faculty of Medicine during the Fair. The only thing that is left is to wait for the documents to come in and hope that the best students will apply: "Those who didn’t manage to participate in the live motivational interviews will be able to do so later on Skype. The purpose of this visit was to provide knowledge about the University, allow people to find out more information they need and, of course, to help them make the right decision,” the Head of Student Admissions said.

Interviews take place at the Faculty of Medicine every spring and form a fairly important part of the work of International Studies Coordinators. The purpose of such interviews is to find out the motivation of future students: “Of course, it's always better to have a live conversation. In this way, the personality and character are revealed. When it is not possible to meet live, technology helps a lot,” J. Andrikonytė shared.

In 2020, admission to the medical and dental studies in English at VU Faculty of Medicine is planned for the eighth time. It is expected that 100 students will be accepted in the medical degree program and 20 in the dental study program.

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